NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) CEO Kevin Sheehan said the cruise ship operator has boosted on-board revenue by offering different eating, entertainment, and lodging experiences than its competitors.
In an interview aboard the "Norwegian Breakaway," Norwegian's 145,645 gross tonnage ship, Sheehan said his company "reworked a lot of our processes and procedures, and have gone from being last in the industry in on-board revenue to by far being the first in the industry."
Norwegian's first-quarter on-board revenue skyrocketed 21.8% from a year earlier to $205.5 million, the fastest rate of growth among its peer group.
Royal Caribbean's (RCL) on-board revenue increased 4.25% in the first quarter, following a 7.34% gain in the same period a year earlier. Royal Caribbean said it continued to see benefits from "fleet upgrades and on-board revenue management initiatives." Carnival's (CCL) on-board revenue rose 4.27% for the six months ended May 31.
Boosting on-board revenue is paramount for a cruise line operator such as Norwegian because ticket pricing is competitive and because of the ships' big fuel bill.
Sheehan said "it's a tough time right now," with regards to ticket pricing, but added that "we are starting to see some relief in the future." Back in April, on Norwegian's first-quarter earnings call, Sheehan said the company was "starting to feel little better about the landscape."
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